“Top 25?!”said Paul.  “How many books did you read this year?”

Well, after the paltry 65 I got through in 2013, I decided to make a concerted effort to improve on that embarrassing number in 2014.  My goal was a lofty 120 – which I ended up far exceeding, racking up a very respectable 180 books on the year (and I could have done even better had I not been distracted by this pesky production).

Let’s be real.  Most Best of the Year lists are full of crap, lazily lauding critical darlings or rewarding mere premise over execution (I’m tempted to compile a list of “Top 10 Worst Books That Made Everyone Else’s Top 10 Best Books”).  This, on the other hand, is my diverse list of the books that truly resonated with me this year; books I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.  And do!

So, yeah.  Top 25.  But then, after I started compiling my list, I realized I was excluding some terrific books – and so, I expanded it to a Top 30.  And, eventually, 35.

Many of these books were published prior to this year – but I’ve indicated the 2014 releases with an asterisk (*) and capped my countdown with a mini Top 10 Titles of 2014 list.

All to say – here are the books I most enjoyed reading between January 1st and December 31st (inclusive!) of this year.  It’s a nice eclectic mix covering everything from graphic novels and genre (horror, fantasy, SF, mystery) to general fiction and non-fiction.

What titles made your list?

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*35. BIRD BOX by Josh Malerman

A series of bizarre murder-suicides in Russia pique the media’s interest, but when these horrific incidents begin to proliferate and start striking closer to home, the world descends into a blind panic. Rumour spreads that people are being driven insane by the sight of some mysterious otherworldly entities and, soon, people have retreated into their homes, covering up their windows, refusing to open their eyes if they venture outdoors.  A helluva page-turner.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*34. THE ROAD TO RECKONING by Robert Lautner

You can almost smell the gun smoke, sweat, and campfire in this gritty Western character piece about a young boy, orphaned after his father’s murder, who enlists the help of an ornery bastard to get him home.  Smart and absorbing.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*33. FROSTBORN by Lou Anders

Award-winning editor Lou Anders first novel is a Norse-inspired, adventure-fueled tale for young fantasy enthusiasts. Karn, a young farmer-to-be, strikes up an unlikely friendship with Thianna, a half-giantess, to take on undead forces, an ancient dragon, troublesome trolls, an opportunistic uncle, and more! If you’re looking to inspire your child to follow in your Martin/Eddings/Jordan-loving footsteps, then this book is a great place to start.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

32. ANCILLARY JUSTICE – Anne Leckie

The mysterious Breq is much more (and less!) than she appears. Once a military starship possessed of Artificial Intelligence, she now exists as merely one of the thousands of former ancillaries (a.k.a. corpse soldiers) that live as extensions of her former self. Reduced to a single fragile human body, fueled by the memories of her powerful past, she sets out on a seemingly impossible mission of vengeance. Sound cool? Well, it is. And smart. I haven’t read an SF novel this engrossing in quite a while.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

31. A CALCULATED LIFE By Anne Charnock

In the late 21st century, society has stratified into the haves (genetically-enhanced individuals who live comfortable lives free of addiction and crime) and the have-nots (drudge workers who live in segregated, crime-ridden communities). Our protagonist, Jayna, is a hot up-and-comer at a corporation that track global trends. She has the perfect job, the perfect life and yet, she can’t help but feel that something is…off. Perfection aint all it’s cracked up to be and when Jayna decides to inject a little unpredictability into her ordered existence, things take a turn for the dangerous.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

30. SCHRODER by Amity Gaige

In the heat of a custody battle, a desperate father takes his daughter on an ill-advised extended road trip. It’s one of several big errors in judgement that lead our protagonist down an inevitably heartbreaking path. The fairly straightforward premise belies a surprising complexity in this touching and tragic tale. On the surface, not “the type of book” I’d enjoy – but I was thoroughly engrossed.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

29. THE INVERTED WORLD by Christopher Priest

A city moves along a railroad track in constant, laborious progress, attempting to keep up with something called “the optimum” – or risk losing pace and falling victim to a gravitational field that has warped space and time. This is a truly bizarre work of science fiction that jumps between multiple narrative styles in telling a story that is both grounded in its characters yet intellectually and creatively provocative in its conceit. At times, I felt like I was reading Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow – on acid.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*28. TO RISE AGAIN AT A DECENT HOUR by Joshua Ferris

Online identity theft turns a middle-aged dentist’s life upside-down in this wickedly dark novel about self, faith, and the inherent dangers of not flossing.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

27. The Circle by Dave Eggers

Our young heroine lands a job working for The Circle, a cutting edge internet company that is Google, Facebook, and Yahoo rolled into one. Before she knows it, she is at the forefront of a wave of technological advancements that will revolutionize social interaction. But at what price? A smart, scary book that explores the potentially insidious consequences of our increasingly “connected” lives.  Delivers a powerful message on our increasing willingness to relinquish privacy and freedom in exchange for convenience.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

26. Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie has distinguished himself in a fairly crowded field, delivering gritty, visceral, yet darkly humorous tales that fly in the face of established high fantasy conventions. His world-building is as unique and richly textured as the colorful characters who battle and banter their way through his stories, and I list him among my very favorite authors. Period. Beginning with his first book, The Blade Itself, and continuing through five subsequent novels, I can honestly say “I’ve never read an Abercrombie book I haven’t loved.”.  Red Country is Joe at his consistent best, a story about a young girl, Shy South, who sets off to rescue her younger siblings from a group of murderous outlaws. She is aided in her quest by Lamb, her (seemingly) spineless soft-spoken stepfather, and the unlikeliest of allies in a group of risk-averse mercenaries. A hell of a lot of fun.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*25. ANNIHILATION by Jeff VanderMeer

A team of four women set out to explore a mysterious region known as Area X. By all accounts, they are the twelfth group to journey into the bizarre amazon-like territory. All of the previous expeditions have ended badly, marked by murders, suicides, disappearances, and, in the case of the eleventh, the inexplicable return of its members, sickened and psychologically broken by their experience. Our narrator, a biologist, apprises us of her team’s progress as they venture deep into Area X, making strange discoveries and unearthing hidden agendas, all the while dogged by a creeping suspicion that all is not right…

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

24. The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

A great near-future thriller that follows Detective Henry Palace in his investigation of a suspicious suicide – amidst the backdrop of societal breakdown as the world prepares for the apocalyptic arrival of Asteroid 2011GV.  While the clock ticks down toward an extinction level event, suicides abound and people abandon all to pursue their bucket lists, but Henry demonstrates single-minded focus.  The first book in a three part series, each focusing on a different investigation – and the continuing erosion of civilization.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

23. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

A clerical error sparks a property dispute between a former Iranian Air Force Colonel and a recovering addict, a conflict fueled by desperation and pride that eventually leads to tragic consequences. Dubus does a masterful job of presenting us with the very real and very sympathetic people on both sides of the issue. This one will stay with you.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

22. Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

Herman Koch excels at developing fascinating morally ambiguous, occasionally sociopathic characters – and his books are the opposite of feel-good summer reads.  So, with that warning in mind, prepare to be thoroughly engrossed by this novel about a physician to the stars who faces some serious legal consequences after one of his celebrity patients dies following a botched medical procedure.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

21. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin

After a series of horrific child murders casts suspicion on the local Jewish community (a valuable tax source for the English court), King Henry II brings in a brilliant coroner, educated at the school of medicine in Salerno, to lead the investigation.  The only hitch – she’s a woman.  Operating at a time in England when female doctors are about as prevalent as tennis rackets, our protagonist, Adelia, must feign assistantship to her own assistant in order to solve the murders.  A great historical mystery.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*20. We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

A story of two sisters and their incredible bond. Nell and Layla are inseparable, the best of friends, drawn even closer by their parents’ divorce. But Nell begins to notice a change in her sister. Layla becomes withdrawn and secretive, and Nell suspects it may have something to do with a popular high school teacher. Restrained and real.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*19. Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?  by Roz Chast

At times reminiscent of Art Spiegelman’s brilliant graphic novel Maus in its depiction of the relationship between aging parents and their middle-aged offspring, this bittersweet memoir traces artist Roz Chast’s struggles to care for her increasingly infirm mother and father as they deal with their loss of independence, their health and, eventually, each other.  At times very funny and at times heartbreaking, it’s an eye-opening account of the realities that await us all.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*18. Afterlife with Archie (Escape from Riverdale) by Roberto Aguire-Sacasa

Archie Andrews and the gang from Riverdale face a zombie apocalypse when their high school dance is crashed by the undead, forcing them to take refuge at Lodge Manor. Surprisingly dark, this grim take on the hitherto silly comic is shockingly effective. Right up there with The Walking Dead and World War Z.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

17. N0S4A2 by Joe Hill

Hill finally comes into his own with an unsettling story about missing kids, a dark fantasy land, and a creepy yet surprisingly nuanced villain. A standout read.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

16. Going Clear by Lawrence Wright

A history of scientology and its frighteningly far reach. Terrifying.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

15. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

I generally hate blog books but this one is the exception.  Incisive, engaging, and very, very funny, it’s complimented by some perfect and perfectly hilarious illustrations.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*14. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Jason Fitger writes a lot of reference letters.  A lot of woeful, meandering, passive-aggressive, unintentionally offensive reference letters that, if nothing else, offer tragic-comic insight into the world of their author, an embittered professor of creative writing at a small liberal arts school.  The book, a hilarious collection of his (un)professional missives, will have you carefully reconsidering the next time you ask someone for a professional recommendation.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*13. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

Many will no doubt draw comparisons to Kate Atkinson’s much-hyped Life After Life given the similar premise – a protagonist is continually reborn after death, reliving his/her life over and over – but whereas Atkinson’s heroine has no knowledge of her past experiences, North’s hero does and this makes for a completely different and (in my opinion) far more interesting narrative.  Armed with the memories of what came before, Harry August discovers others like him, time traveling kalachakra, who hold the secret to saving the world – and ending it.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*12. In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

Historical documents, journals, and personal accounts are used to reconstruct the ill-fated polar voyage of the USS Jeanette and its 33 man crew who are forced to undertake a grueling thousand mile journey across the frozen Arctic when their ship goes down in icy waters.  Harrowing.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

11. Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer

When a young American backpacker turns up dead in Capetown and her friend disappears, Detective Benny Griessel is tasked with the politically-charged job finding the missing girl.  The narrative jumps back and forth between the official investigation and the young woman on the run in this highly suspenseful, immensely captivating page-turner.  Impossible to put down, I read this novel in a single night, staying up until 2:00 a.m to finish it.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*10. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

It’s an going series, so I’m including it as a 2014 release.  Two former soldiers, deserters, and star-crossed lovers from opposing sides of an interplanetary conflict attempt to put the war behind them and raise their daughter with the help of some unlikely allies.  But their pasts come back to haunt them in the form of some even unlikelier enemies – and otherworldly complications.  The comic book version of an intricately plotted, character-driven cable drama.  Fiercely original.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*9. The Troop by Nick Cutter

A field trip to an isolated island takes a horrific turn for a group of young boys when their scout leader welcomes an emaciated stranger into their camp. It’s a horror version of Lord of Flies that is at turns harrowing, humorous, and thoroughly engaging. Wonderfully written. It’s heads and shoulders above most novels in the genre.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

8. Super Graphic by Tim Leong

This visual guide to the comic book universe uses pie charts, venn diagrams, bar graphs, maps, and trajectories to highlight fun facts. Whether it’s a rundown of DC’s alternate Earths, the pizza particulars of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the alliances and connections of the denizens of Sin City, a Walking Dead kill counter, a map of Tintin’s travels, or a taxonomy of animal-named characters, there’s something here for most every fan to geek-out over. LOVED it!

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

7. The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

Moorish Spain (or a fictional version thereof) is the backdrop of this sweeping historical fantasy involving sieges, warfare, diabolical plots, courtly intrigue, crosses, double-crosses, friendship, and romance. At heart of it all are three protagonists whose backgrounds and alliances lead them on intersecting paths both heroic and tragic. Brilliant world-building and wonderfully nuanced characters. My introduction to the works of author Guy Gavriel Kay novel. Highly recommended.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

When his wife goes missing, family and friends rally in support of her distressed husband – until evidence surfaces suggesting he may have had a hand in her disappearance.  As suspicion mounts and the onion is peeled on a less than ideal marriage, the reader discovers that appearances can be very deceiving.  Replete with twists and turns, a compelling read.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

*5. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

Young Prince Yarvi is son to the King of Gettland.  Born with only one good hand and no aspirations to the throne, he has grown up in the shadow of his older brother.  But when his father and brother fall in battle, it falls on him to avenge them.  His scheming uncle has other plans, however, and Yarvi is betrayed and sold into slavery.  And so, it’s from his lowly position as a galley rower riding the Shattered Sea that his quest for revenge begins, one that will see him forge alliances with reprobates and renegades, battle fierce adversaries, and, ultimately, reforge himself into a force to be reckoned with.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

4. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

To honor the memory of his recently deceased father, Judd Altman learns he must sit shiva, spending the week in mourning with his fractured family.  Disparate personalities clash as unresolved issues resurface in this wickedly humorous novel.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Don Tillman, a brilliant but socially inept professor of genetics, comes up with the optimal means to finding his ideal companion: a sixteen page questionnaire designed to weed out unsuitable candidates and zero in on his perfect match.  His scientifically sound approach to love yields unexpected results in this touching and thoroughly charming novel.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!*2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Inspired by an experiment in the 1930’s in which a husband and wife research team raised a baby chimp in their home as a member of their family, this novel offers a fictional account of a similar experiment run some sixty years later – and its heartbreaking effects on those involved. Our narrator is Rosemary, a woman who reflects back on her childhood, growing up with a human brother and chimpanzee sister – until the dark day her sister, Fern, was taken away. The loss of their beloved family members has far-reaching consequences for all of them. Some fifteen years later, Rosemary attempts to learn the truth about her sister’s fate.  Humorous and poignant.

December 31, 2014: Best Books Of 2014!

1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The book opens with our narrator, Jeannette, on her way to a New York City function, when her cab stops beside a homeless women rooting through the trash. Upon closer scrutiny, Jeannette realizes that homeless woman is, in fact, her mother. And so begins one of the most amazing books I’ve read in recent memory. The blurb on the back of the jacket does it an enormous disservice, painting it as a bleak autobiographical account of woman growing up in an abusive family. It’s actually quite touching, uplifting – and incredibly funny, reminiscent of David Sedaris at his very darkest. One of my Top 10 books of all time. Go read it!

MY TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2014

#10 – We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

#9 – Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

#8 – Afterlife with Archie (Escape from Riverdale) by Roberto Aguire-Sacasa

#7 – Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

#6 – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

#5 – In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

#4 – Saga by Brian K. Vaughan

#3 – The Troop by Nick Cutter

#2 – Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

#1 – We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Happy New Year!

32 thoughts on “December 31, 2014: Best Books of 2014!

  1. 180 books? I feel so discouraged in comparison. I really need to get my butt in gear and start reading more. A LOT of those books look really good, but I didn’t see “The Rich and the Dead” on there! 😉 The Abercrombie ones sound particularly good, as well as the “Bird Box” and the “Afterlife with Archie” series. I better get ordering! And reading!

    I already have about 5-6 non-fiction books in my queue, but I guess I can start alternating them.

    Happy new year to you and Akemi and the pups, Joe, as well as all the family! (I hope Sis is feeling better today.)

  2. I have The Troop and N0S4A2. I need to get to reading them. If I’d get off my computer I’d have more time to read. Going to read all your book descriptions up there and see if there are more I want to add to my “need to read” stack.

  3. Joe how is Andria? Please don’t leave us hanging with her in the ER. Did they figure out what is wrong and she’s on nice healing drugs today?

  4. Joe, a question – how do you retain all of that – I mean, retain all you’ve read so that you can actually enjoy it? When I read something I usually need at least a few days to digest the information, otherwise I forget the story, the characters, and even the plot as soon as I pick up the next book. You must have an excellent memory. Cherish it. 🙂

    das

  5. Yippee! I have one of the books on your list. I haven’t read it yet, but I have it. 😀

    Happy New Year everyone! Looking forward to seeing all of you back in 2015. 😀

  6. I used to read a lot. Possibly even at your level back when I was in school, but not now. I still read every night and during the rare times when I have leisure and energy, but work gets in the way.

    I read Nos4a2. Good book which is saying something because I’m not a horror fan.

    Of the books on your list, I really liked Half a King. It’s technically Young Adult, but very entertaining for all audiences.

    The Lions of Al Rassan is on my “to read” shelf. I read A Song for Arbonne first so I could discuss it with some friends who had read it recently.

    At the moment I’m in the midst of Dorothy Dunnett’s “Legend of Lymond” series. Just starting A Pawn in Frankincense.” Not your kind of books, Joe. Historical fiction set in Scotland, France, Malta, etc during the 1500’s. Nicely written and entertaining, but I think I may need to invest in a translator for the digressions in to French.

    Happy New Year one and all! May the new year bring good health, happiness and success (especially for an up and coming Sci Fi series). And I hope Sis get’s better soon.

  7. Happy New Year to all.
    Good wishes for Andria. Yes…please share news if she agrees.

    My reading is in good hands. If you recall – I asked you to take care of it and by golly you did. LOL…

    Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
    Kung Hee Fat Choy!
    Prospero Anno Felicidad!
    and I will stop trying to show off…cause that is all I know.

  8. What titles made your list?

    the only ones i rated as 5-stars on booksfree.com;
    the seven realms series (the demon king, the exiled queen, the gray wolf throne & the crimson crown) by cinda williams chima
    a young adult fantasy series where wizards had invaded a realm & took over. after a disastrous war (which lead to splitting the realm into 7 parts), a series of checks & balances were placed on them to control them. 1,000 years later they’re resentful & looking to do something to change the status quo.

    so now that we had your best books of 2014, are we going to get a list of the worst or not-so-great (whatever you want to call them) ones?

  9. I have In The Kingdom of Ice, but I haven’t read it yet. It’s next on my list though.

    Happy New Year everyone! It’s a low key one for me…Barb’s already in bed, my kids are at a New Year’s Eve sleep over, and I’m waiting out the time til New Year’s watching Netflix. Yawn.

    Anyway, on Saturday I fly to Las Vegas for the CES show, so if there are any restaurant recommendations, let me know and I’ll see if I can take it in.

  10. Wow you read Nos4a2 already? You just got that like what 2 weeks ago?

    I will make note of all of these and read the ones I haven’t I’ve been looking for some great new reads.

    I read “The Glass Castle” a few years ago when a friend lent it to me and it was extremely moving.

    Anything Guy Gavriel Kay writes is bound to be good, I’ve read many of his books but haven’t check out them all yet.

    One that you may like as it’s on the same level as “The Glass Castle” is “Left Neglected” and “Still Alice”

    Also “Ysael” from Guy Gavriel Kay it’s so good.

    I’m saddened I haven’t read a lot this year but bought a few new books and hope to turn that around in 2015!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR

  11. I cannot compare to your lofty standards. I frequently started books last year but got caught up in life that i never finished them. One I did finish and love was The Rosie Project. What charming characters. Looking forward to reading the sequel, The Rosie Effect. Happy New Year to everyone. Sending positive, healing vibes to your sister, Joe. I hope they figure it out soon and she’s on the mend.

    Cheers, Chev

  12. Most Best of the Year lists are full of crap

    This is true, but your list includes Anihilation so your list isn’t the exception the proves the rule! 🙂 I suspect a lot of book critics only read the first and last chapters of the books the review, or regurgitate what they’ve read in other reviews or even what the publisher had told them about the book. But a lot of it just comes down to personal preference. I doubt that I would include most of the books on your list on my list. But that’s OK. There’s several books on your list that are right up my alley and I’ll definitely be adding them to my reading/listening queue.

    I had a quiet New Year’s Eve watching a Babylon 5 marathon. Yep, I really know how to party! I’ve had a nasty cold since Boxing Day that I’m only just starting to feel a bit better from so I wasn’t up to much more than sitting in front of the TV.

    Happy New Year everyone!

  13. Happy New 2015!, Hope everyone had a safe joyful new years eve. Looking forward to a terrific new year!
    ~Joe hope Andria is better..{{hugs}}

  14. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!
    Sis is well?

    In no particular order my list for 2014:

    ANCILLARY JUSTICE – Anne Leckie
    The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
    A CALCULATED LIFE By Anne Charnock
    The Martian by Andy Weir
    Influx by Daniel Suarez
    A Highly Unlikely Scenario, or a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World by Rachel Cantor
    Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
    We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

  15. Yup…I haven’t read any of those. I was going to read Saga, but I trade-waited and glad I did so because nothing ruins a good story for me like over-the-top graphic crap that – no matter how anyone argues differently – is only put in these things to sell books (and/or to shock readers/push envelopes).

    I’ve really gotten cranky about such things in my old age. Just give me a good story without relying on graphic or shocking gimmicks to hook me (and yes, I’m looking at my favorites, too).

    While I have read the Pendergast books, and cozy little Hamish Macbeth stories, the standouts for me this year have been:

    The Massive (Brian Wood/Dark Horse). “In a post-war, post-crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, the environmental-action trawler Kapital scours the earth’s oceans for its mysteriously missing sistership, The Massive. Captain Callum Israel, a man who has dedicated his life to the ocean, now must ask himself—as our planet dies—what it means to be an environmentalist after the world’s ended. Callum and his crew will come up against pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves as they struggle to remain noble toward their cause. Can you save a planet that’s already doomed?”

    All of that aside, it’s just a damn good story, with good character development, without shoving a bunch of shock-crap in my face. I’ve read the first three trades, waiting on the 4th (came out this week), and have yet to be disappointed.

    Watson and Holmes (Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi/New Paradigm) – Not sure if I read this last year, or this year, but it was a refreshing take on Sherlock, and I can’t wait for the next trade (it’s slow to coming, relying on Kickstarter). It takes place in modern-day Harlem, with Watson as the lead character. A solid story with solid characters.

    Fuse – (Antony Johnston, Justin Greenwood/Image Comics). ” 22,000 miles up, there is no back-up. Working homicide on an orbiting energy platform, in a five mile long jury-rigged steel city stuffed with a half million people, and no help from your so-called colleagues back on earth, is more than tough…it’s murder.”

    I was pleasantly surprised by this one, thinking it would be more graphic than it turned out to be, making it one of my favorite reads of the last few years. Picked it up because I find myself leaning towards mystery/police procedural stories lately, and found that it delivered quite nicely on both levels. Looking forward to the next trade (I think this one struggled, but as I understand it the story is continuing).

    My biggest personal disappointment is that I never got around to reading the most beautifully crafted 47 Ronon (Mike Richardson, Stan Sakai/ Dark Horse). I have it right here in my ‘to do’ pile, and just keep putting it off. I watched the movie (1941 film, not the modern one), so I guess I just feel like I already know the story. I think I just need to learn to turn off the tv and start cracking open books again. I’ve become lazy. 🙁

    das

  16. Mr. M.: Impressive reading numbers! Also, thanks so much for listing your favorite books. Some of those will make my 2015 list.

    I fell headfirst into the Pendergast series and Marko Kloo’s books but we’ve discussed those before. So I’ll exclude those and list the other books that haunted/surprised me. 2014 was a stressful year and these books pulled me away from reality, if only for a short time.

    Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (2014) I don’t usually like S.K. but WOW!
    The Target (Will Robie Book 3) by David Baldacci (2014)
    Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories by Craig Johnson (2014)
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2013)
    The Dragon Business by Kevin J. Anderson (2013)
    Personal Injuries by Scott Turow (1999) I know it’s an older story but I stumbled across this one and was fascinated by the characters.

    A big thanks to everyone who posted their favorite reads! I’ll look them up!!!

    How is your Sis?

    Happy New Year!

  17. @ Tam – Thanks for the Stephen King recommendation. When I was a teen, I collected his books. He writes so much, I fell behind and never caught up.

  18. Cher Joseph,
    Bonne et heureuse Année 2015! Nous savons déjà quelle vous sera favorable.
    Comme cadeau de Noël mon épouse et moi nous nous sommes acheté les saisons manquantes de SG1 et réécoutons la série depuis le début; nous sommes rendus à The tok’Râ part 2.

  19. P.S.: Nos enfants sont découragés de nous!! “Encore Stargate!!??”. Ils nous ont demandé si cette maladie se soignait.
    On leur a dit que cӎtait incurable!

  20. I thought Mo Willems’ We Are in a Book was clever. We had to wait on the library’s waiting list for that hot potato. I love when a book’s end and beginning both tell you the author crafted the whole story and didn’t just start writing and hope he could think of a clever way to wrap it up.

    Imma bout to start That Risen Snow, which is free on Kindle edition right now.

  21. Happy New Year to each and every person on here, hopefully its a year of happiness for everyone and Dark Matter renewals!

  22. And speaking of books, I was looking at Under the Dome recently, but the TV series was kinda bad, at least the 2nd season was. It hasn’t really got me in the mood for it, its a friggin huge book. And don’t get me started on Game of Thrones, I think I’d leave something like that until I’m either unwell, or feel like wasting away a Sunday just relaxing with a book LOL

  23. I read your #1 at your recommendation — it is fantastic. Thanks for taking the time to put this post together. The task of writing the summaries and reviews would take me the whole year just by itself!

    I just read Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. It won the Hugo in ’06. I think it’s quite brilliant sci fi. Did you ever read it?

    Anyway Happy New Year, Joe and everyone.

  24. Wow, I haven’t read anything good in ages. I’m making my way through a terrible e-book I abandoned a year ago; it’s full of typos and elaborate descriptions like “he put his left wrist on the table and reached his right hand out as he crossed his legs, putting his left ankle over his right ankle.” It is gloriously mangled but it has a lot of heart.

  25. I loved Annihilation. By far one of my fav books. To the point where I haven’t picked up the sequel yet for fear it will let me down.

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